The Evolution of the Automobile

On this day in 1901 the state of New York did something that every other state has done since. They became the first state to require drivers to purchase license plates. That was a sign of growth.

On this day in 2009 GM did something no one could have seen coming just a few years before. They killed the Pontiac. The first Pontiac was produced in 1931. The brand became known for its sedans and occasional sports cars. The GTO, Firebird, and Trans Am were cultural icons, bringing both speed and sex appeal. The demise of the Pontiac was a sign of despair.

But in 2008, GM ceded its role as the world’s top auto maker to Toyota. They soon asked for government assistance to remain afloat, eventually filing for bankruptcy. As part of its reorganization plan, GM discontinued the Pontiac division altogether.

A parable on life, the history of the automobile reminds us of the inevitable change of life. One day the American-made automobile was competing with the horse and carriage. Fast forward. Now the American-made automobile – Pontiac in this case – can struggle for its mere existence.

There are 7,500 promises in the Bible. “Tomorrow” is not one of them. Life is brief and unpredictable. Just like the automobile.

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